Bye Rock, hip-hop is now the most popular genre in the world

Since it’s inception 30-40 years ago hip-hop has been booming more and more and now it’s overtaken rock as the most popular genre in 2017.

For the first time in history hip-hop is more popular than rock, making it the most popular genre overall of last year. According to Nielsen’s year-end report hip-hop is dominating after taking over the mainstream in recent years.

Since the 90s when groups like NWA and A Tribe Called Quest came to the forefront hip-hop has been on a perpetual rise. It’s pop potential was found in the 2000’s with artist like Kanye West and Jay-Z entering the charts and laying a path for the rap and hip-hop superstars of today.

Nielsen’s report showed that hip-hop/R&B ended the year as the largest genre in terms of “total consumption”. Whilst Ed Sheeran’s album Divide took to the top spot for the year Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. came closely behind with less than 20,000 fewer album equivalent sales (AES) than Sheeran’s total of 2,764,000.

Beyond albums hip-hop’s prominence was clear as Drake and Kendrick Lamar both took the top spots for the most popular artists of the year. Drake had a strong lead in first place with total consumption at 4,830,000 AES, over 1 million more than Kendrick in second place.

Nielsen credited the rise in popularity as “powered by a 72% increase in on-demand audio streaming” which offset declines in track and album sales. Whilst hip-hop was overall the biggest genre for 2017 the boom of Latin music can’t be overlooked, with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s hit track Despacito taking the place of the most popular track of the year.

2018 is going to be an incredibly interesting year in music with hip-hop the new dominating force in music after something like 60 years of rock music at the top of the tables.

Tobu and Bollywood join forces for their first hit track of 2018

Tobu has dropped his first banger of 2018 in a joint effort with Bollywood singers Arijit Singh and Prakriti Kakar.

2018 is already looking like an amazing year for incredible producer Tobu with 7 million views on his new track in 2 days. The track ‘Subah Subah’ is a joint effort with Bollywood singers Arijit Singh and Prakriti Kakar.

The music video for Subah Subah went up on the 2nd of January and has already earned over 7 million views. Shot in the beautiful location of Rishikesh the video stars Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh, actors from the upcoming Bollywood movie Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety which the track has been made for.

Get your 2018 started with Subah Subah:

RouteNote are incredibly proud to work with Tobu personally as a signed artist on our management roster under Outertone.

Native Instruments give away free Phaser and vouchers for Christmas

Native Instruments have a special holiday treat for everyone offering up an awesome free plugin and vouchers for more.

Whether you’re expecting some nice new gear for Christmas or just want to spend the break creating with your existing gear, NI have some treats for you. Diversify your library, with PHASIS a free phaser plugin and buy some more quality music software with a £22/$25 voucher for the NI store.

PHASIS is a brand new phaser. It offers timeless phasing sounds – adding movement, soul, and creative magic to any signal. PHASIS draws inspiration from classic phasers but adds powerful new features for never-heard-before results. The Spread control changes the spacing of the phaser’s notches, for vocal-style effects. Ultra mode pushes modulation to ultra high rates, producing unique FM-esque tones. Download the VST/AU/AAX plug-in for free now!

For your £22/$25 e-voucher for NI’s online shop use the code: NIHOLIDAYS2017.

Native Instruments also have a massive giveaway worth £2876. Enter for your chance to win KOMPLETE 11 ULTIMATE, KOMPLETE KONTROL S49, MASCHINE, and TRAKTOR KONTROL S8. You can enter at the bottom of this page:

Spotify Wrapped gives artists a package of how their music did this year

Spotify have wrapped up a special present for artists with an overview of how their music performed this year.

It’s the season for giving gifts, and Spotify have a special one for Artists on Spotify. Spotify Wrapped gives you a neatly wrapped package of who’s been listening to your music through 2017.

Spotify Wrapped has it’s own “fully customized, totally unique” microsite where you can log in and see your performance. You’ll need to a part of the Spotify for Artists program before you can view your Wrapped page – you can read how to do this here.

The stats include the number of listeners tuning in to stream your music over the year, the 3 biggest days of streaming for your music, as well as how long fans have been streaming your music in total this year. This data is all just extra data packaged up nicely from what you can see already with Spotify for Artists.

The 10 best festive electronic tunes for a merry litmas

The bells are ringing and the snow is falling, at least they are somewhere. It’s time to crack out the decks and get jolly with some Christmas tunes – but who says you have to listen to the same old songs every year?
Here are the 10 greatest tunes that will get you raving around the Christmas tree:

It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with BASS. This club-ready re-imagining of the classic Sleigh Ride comes from Monstercat’s own Stephen Walking. This Christmas get your grandparents up and raving around the Christmas tree with a bit of old, and a bit of new.

Here’s a fresh one for you. Jamie Lidell dropped this festive little number last month which sounds like Santa Claus crashed into a disco club and pumped up the woofers. Lidell’s unique style will have you funking along so hard you’ll forget all about taking the turkey out.

What would Christmas be without Bing Crosby? Here’s Crosby as you’ve never heard him with some sexy, fat bass and a boom-bap beat transforming Bing into a dreamy hip-hop darling. Coming from Christmas DJ extraordinaire Kaskade who even has his own full Christmas album. Yeah you heard it right, Kaskade has a Christmas album, check it out!

Possibly the last person you’d expect to see on this list but yes, Aphex Twin has a Christmas song. Or at least it has XMAS in the title and samples some pretty bells, so it’s probably as close as we’ll ever get to Richard D James’ ‘Last Christmas’.

Ready for a mad one this Christmas? Instantly transform Christmas dinner into an Ibiza party with this mad remix of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Courtesy of prolific DJs Gent & Jawns comes this heavy festive jam.

Turn down for what? Silent Night won’t even be a concept after you hear this big, big reworking of DJ Snake’s Bird Machine with Alesia. Just in case you thought you’d never hear Jingle Bells sung by a bird to a trap beat, the Lean On producer presents you with this tasty package.

This is a bit of a different one but still deserves a lot of love. Darcy’s come through with Mariah Carey’s hit song with a fusion of snappy drum machines and live performance. It may not be Mariah Carey but those vocals at 2:55 right?

If by this point you’re asking “where is the house!?”, here you go. It’s a mix between some sweet deep house, demonic carollers, and a trance beat trying it’s hardest to keep up with the festivities. This track is sure to put a smile on your face this Christmas.

Trust electronic supergroup Major Lazer to bring some reggae/dancehall life to Christmas. Escape in the sumptious sound of Christmas Trees and get ready to coat your turkey in jerk sauce. This is a banger every Christmas needs.

You’ll definitely have a “very decent Christmas” with this gorgeous track. Picture yourself on a tropical beach sipping on egg nog and lose yourself to this amazing piece of smoothness this holiday.

Microsoft Groove becomes Spotify as it shuts down

Microsoft are shutting down their streaming service Groove Music at the end of this month to integrate with Spotify.

As announced earlier this year Groove Music will no longer be streaming come 2018. Microsoft are shutting the store down, but you have until the 31st January to move your library over to Spotify and continue streaming there.

Of course this means that for our users we will no longer be working with Groove Music and any music chosen for Groove is unlikely to be sent before it is shut down now. We will be stopping submissions to Groove in the next 10 days.

If you’re a Groove Music Pass subscriber then Microsoft are giving out refunds to paying subscribers. You can find out more about how to get a refund, transitioning to Spotify, and details on the closure here:

Spotify’s Year in Music 2017: A familiar face ruled streaming this year

It’s the last month of the year after 11 months of great music and Spotify have revealed what’s been hot and what has not in 2018 in the Spotify Year in Music.

Who has ruled streaming this year? Whether you welcome the news or not, it’s not that unexpected – Ed Sheeran once again rules streaming as the most streamed artist overall and his album ‘÷’ the most streamed album.

Spotify’s chief content officer, Stefan Blom said: “Ed Sheeran absolutely dominated this year with the release of his record-breaking album, Divide. There is no doubt that 2017 was The Year of Ed Sheeran, and we are thrilled that so many millions of music fans have discovered, listened to, and shared his music on Spotify. Congratulations to Ed on an amazing achievement.”

There you have it, it was ‘The Year of Ed Sheeran’ straight from the streamer’s mouth. But elsewhere Latin music saw an explosion in popularity, helped massively by the runaway popularity of Despacito. Through the entire year 10 Latin songs made it onto Spotify’s Global Top 50. Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonso also became the first Latin artists to hold a number 1 spot on Spotify in July.

For once Drake wasn’t the talk of the town, although he was still the second most streamed artist for the year. And in news that might please some Taylor Swift found herself second for the most streamed female artists, overtaken by Rihanna who took the number one spot for the females.

Ed Sheeran top streamed artist on Spotify 2018 year in music
Ed Sheeran was the most streamed artist on Spotify 2018

Here’s a roundup of all the music that’s been blowing up on the world’s favourite streaming service this year:

Most Streamed Artists

Ed Sheeran was the world’s most streamed artist with over 6.3 billion streams this year, dethroning Drake who took the top spot in 2015 and 2016. In fact, Drake is the only top 5 artist carried over from last year, with Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar and The Chainsmokers all new to the top 5 list of artists this year.

  1. Ed Sheeran
  2. Drake
  3. The Weeknd
  4. Kendrick Lamar
  5. The Chainsmokers

Most Streamed Female Artists

For the third year in the row, Rihanna takes home the title of most streamed female artist, continuing her reign at the top. Pop superstars Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Sia round out the top 5.

  1. Rihanna
  2. Taylor Swift
  3. Selena Gomez
  4. Ariana Grande
  5. Sia

Most Streamed Male Artists

Ed Sheeran naturally dominates the Most Streamed Male Artists list, but for the first time we see Daddy Yankee claim a spot in the Top Five Most Streamed Male Artists list this year.

  1. Ed Sheeran
  2. Drake
  3. The Weeknd
  4. Kendrick Lamar
  5. Daddy Yankee

Top Five Breakout Artists

2017 was a big year for artists in groups breaking out on their own to go solo. Camila Cabello, Harry Styles and Liam Payne all went solo this year and hit it big on their own as the top 3 breakout artists of the year. Rappers Lil Pump and Trippie Red round out the list.

  1. Camila Cabello
  2. Harry Styles
  3. Liam Payne
  4. Lil Pump
  5. Trippie Redd

Most Streamed Groups

This year, Coldplay’s collaboration with The Chainsmokers on ‘Something Just Like This’ catapulted them to the top of the groups list, followed by Imagine Dragons bringing the ‘Thunder’ with Maroon 5, Linkin Park and Migos closing out the list.

  1. Coldplay
  2. Imagine Dragons
  3. Maroon 5
  4. Linkin Park
  5. Migos

Most Streamed Tracks

Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ surpassed Drake’s ‘One Dance’ by becoming the most popular song ever on Spotify with over 1.4 billion streams.

  1. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  2. Despacito – Remix – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
  3. Despacito – Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
  4. Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
  5. I’m the One – DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne

Most Streamed Albums

After dropping ÷ (Divide) in March, Ed Sheeran’s album has racked up over 3.1 billion streams on Spotify, making it the most streamed album of the year.

  1. Divide – Ed Sheeran
  2. More Life – Drake
  3. DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
  4. Starboy – The Weeknd
  5. Stoney – Post Malone

Most Musical Day 2017:

June 13, 2017 (measured by most streams per user)

Emerging 2017 Genres:

  1. Melodic Power Metal
  2. Chaotic Black Metal
  3. Chillhop
  4. Trap Latino
  5. Future Funk
  6. Jumpstyle
  7. Serialism
  8. Cinematic Dubstep
  9. Vintage Swoon
  10. Gamecore

Baidu’s new robot smart speakers are nothing like Amazon’s Echo

Chinese creators Baidu are diversifying the booming smart speaker market with their own unique additions.

Baidu have earned a reputation for having built one of the first deep dive artificial intelligence systems. But they’re only now putting it into their first product with a series of smart speakers that look like no others.

Baidu unveiled 3 products in their ‘Raven’ series, Baidu purchased Raven Tech in February, at their annual world event, a smart speaker and two smart speakers that are also small robots capable of much more. The smart speaker that doesn’t act like a robot is the one we know the most about at the moment, and what we do know is intriguing.

The Raven H is the leading product for Baidu features voice control and music streaming as you’d expect, but it does other things a bit differently. For a start its LED display touch controller can be removed from its base plate and control the base from anywhere, even still using voice control. Not just that, using the detachable controller you can control any Raven compatible smart devices.

The Raven’s intelligent AI goes further than most existing systems. As an example of its power Baidu say if you ask the speaker what time a football match is on the speaker won’t just tell you, it will then ask if you want a reminder. If you say yes it will set an alarm and can even turn your TV on automatically before the match starts.

Raven Tech founder who is now general manager of intelligent hardware units at Baidu, Cheng (Jesse) Lyu said: “Humans and machines have been interacting with one another for years, but Raven H aims to create a world in which this interaction is seamless. The system, equipped with Baidu’s superior voice technology, DuerOS, provides users with an unprecedented level of understanding from a smart device. It’s adjustable design lets its user move through their home or workspace, while remaining connected to both the Raven H system and their personal world.”

Also at Baidu World, Baidu debuted two additional Raven series products. The second Raven series product, raven R, is the world’s first automated six-axis robot with emotional intelligence. Building on features of raven H, raven R has six human-like “joints” that allow it to move flexibly following a user’s command, and express emotions to enhance the interactive experience.

The third member of the Raven series line-up is a concept AI Home Robot, raven Q. While still in development, raven Q will eventually integrate multiple technologies such as simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), computer vision, voice recognition and natural language processing.

Whilst the Raven R and Q have some way to go yet the Raven H will be available for purchase next month for RMB 1,699 or roughly $256.

Lamborghini’s new ‘self-healing car’ intoduced by Tobu

Lamborghini have revealed their new beautiful and innovative Terzo Millenio car and you may recognise the song it’s being paraded out to.

The other day we were browsing Instagram when we had an exciting surprise as Lamborghini’s new car advert came up. As we were watching we realised that Tobu’s wicked track Colors was the soundtrack to the advert.

Tobu has long been working with us here at RouteNote so every time he reaches another landmark we feel the need to celebrate as well! Tobu has been doing amazing work in recent years and is really growing into a powerhouse in EDM, clear to see in his constant successes, the most recent Lamborghini’s acknowledgement of his great music.

Check out the advert below for the awesome looking new Lamborghini Terzo Millenio where you can hear Colors by Tobu:

And if you’re itching for the full track after that snippet then no worries, here it is in full:

Support Tobu:

iTunes –
Spotify –
Website –
Facebook –
YouTube –
Twitter –
SoundCloud –

Ableton Live 10: Everything you need to know about the next Ableton

The announcement of a new version of Ableton always gets us excited and they’ve just announced Ableton Live 10 with awesome new features.

Ableton have announced Live 10, a bunch of new features, wicked new devices, improvements and when we can expect to get all that. Strap in producers, recorders, anyone who has ever used Ableton, because their first full version update in 5 years is going to be a big one.

2013 was when Ableton launched the last full version of their incredibly popular DAW – Live 9. Whilst it’s seen numerous updates keeping it running and adding cool new features Live 10 will be a massive overhaul of the software.


Of course the update comes with loads of new features, tools and things you can use. One of the new features that caught my eye early was the new Capture mode that makes jamming, creating and recording on the fly seamless and simple.

When an idea emerges, press Capture after you played it. Live will match your tempo and timing, and start your melody or groove in a perfect loop. You can also use Capture to progress your songs: add new parts or overdub MIDI into existing clips without breaking your flow—just press Capture after you’ve played it right.

Edit multiple MIDI clips

 Create drums and bass, or chords and melody in tandem. Work with multiple MIDI clips across multiple tracks within a single view—in both Session and Arrangement. Now you can edit smarter and take better control of the musical relationships in your song.

Create and arrange more fluidly

The Arrangement View has been optimised for quick creative editing and more efficient song creation. Easily stretch a clip, slide its content or create audio fades with new clip interactions that work directly in the Arrangement. Automate with greater control using grid snapping and other improved breakpoint interactions.

Focus instantly on what you need to with quick keyboard shortcuts: toggle automation visibility for all tracks, zoom in and out of selections of your song, nudge clips, and even make audio edits like reversing samples.

Lets look at the 4 awesome devices new to Live 10:


Immediately playable, infinitely capable, Wavetable is a new synthesizer built by Ableton. Shape, stretch and morph sounds using wavetables derived from analog synths, and a range of other instruments and sounds. Start sculpting sounds right away—even without a deep knowledge of synthesis—or explore its rich palette and potential through an intuitive interface.


Echo brings together the sound of classic analog and digital hardware delays in a single device—your new go-to delay. Drive and shape sounds with its analog-modeled filters, turn up the noise and wobble for vintage imperfections, or add modulation and reverb to create diffuse soundscapes, wailing feedback and more.

Drum Buss

Drum Buss is a one-stop workstation for drums, capable of adding subtle character or bending and breaking drums to your will. Add warmth and distortion with drive and crunch, take control of dynamics with compression and transient shaping, dial in and tune boom and control bass decay with the dedicated low-end section.


With separate circuit-level models of overdrive, distortion and fuzz guitar pedals, Pedal brings the character of analog stomp boxes to Live. The effect goes all the way from subtle to reckless—it excels at warming up vocals and other instruments, driving synth sounds or completely smashing drums. And of course, it sounds great with guitars.

Beyond what’s already mentioned is still so much more including loads of workflow improvements, new sounds, enhanced power with Push and then some. Find out way more about the massive Live 10 upgrade here:
It’s set for a release early next year and you can get a free upgrade from Ableton Live 9 which happens to be 20% off right now. Go grab it!